Get Your Craft On

Softcup – Live Life Without Interruptions

This post brought to you by Softcup. All opinions are 100% mine.

Did you know there’s an alternative to pad and tampons? I’m surprised how many women don’t. If you’re out of the loop, then allow me to introduce the Softcup!

Oh Softcup, how I love thee, let me count the ways:

  1. No more carrying around a purse full of pads and tampons!
  2. No more waste! You are producing drastically less trash when you say goodbye to pads and tampons!
  3. No more public restrooms! Put the Softcup in before you leave home in the morning, take it out for cleaning when you get home in the evening! The Softcup can be worn continuously for 12 hours.
  4. No more worrying about leakage! Swim, run, and sleep, and you’ll barely know the Softcup is even there.
  5. No more worrying about TSS: studies show that the Softcup does not promote growth of the bacterium believed to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Continue reading…

A Quick Update

Here’s a quick peek at some new designs, while a take a wee break from the never ending flood of custom orders I swimming in right now.

This is a version of my Yvonne swing dress in a new fabric!

And then a version of my Greaser Girl dress in black satin!

This pop-art inspired Mario Bros. top was one of a kind:

Continue reading…

How to Make a Mini Top Hat – DIY Fashion Tutorial

Nothing completes a costume better than a mini top hat! It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae. And nothing could be easier than making your own custom top hat.

I think it would be super fun to have a Hat Making Party with some friends.  Serve tea and make it a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Provide the hats and the decorations and have everyone bring a glue gun. You should probably make sure to get a few hats per person, because no one will want to stop at just one.

And as long as an adult is there to supervise and operate the glue gun, this would be a great party activity for kids. Everyone gets to take their own hat home as a party favor!

mini_top_hat_tutorial_steampunk_costume_03

In addition to being a great addition to a costume, you can also display a few of your hats as a decor feature in your house. Make seasonal themed hats to display for holidays: Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas!

Hang them on the wall or display on your resident skull.

mini_top_hat_tutorial_steampunk_costume_02

Where do we get started? With supplies, of course!

SunshineShoppeSupply has a whole rainbow of hat colors, so choose one that will compliment your costume. Once you’ve chosen your hat, select a handful of coordinating bows, flowers, feathers, etc. You can go monochromatic or multicolored. All of the items in the photo below are available at SunshineShoppeSupply.com!

mini_top_hat_tutorial_steampunk_costume_04

I went with a red + black color scheme for the red hat, black + white for the black hat, and purple, green, and aqua for the purple hat.

Take a moment and assess your selection of decorative items. Check your stash and see what goodies you have that you could add- buttons, lace, fabric scraps. Get creative! You could use small toys, watch gears, hardware, and more. Continue reading…

Attack of the Earwigs

I keep getting asked for updated photos of my garden projects, and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take them a few days ago. Because now we are under attack by that filthy disgusting Dermaptera known as the earwig.

I can remember an era before the European earwig invasion. It was a simpler, less horrifying time.

That summer my mother’s delphiniums mysteriously died. She couldn’t figure out why. But when she cut off the dead dried-up flower stalks, earwigs poured out in the thousands. It was like an earwig fountain. Real life horror movie stuff.

Fast forward 20 years or so and my vegetable garden looks pretty swell. Then I started noticing something happened to my “Green Machine” melon seedlings.

melon problems

They started getting some yellowish spots and what looked like nibbles. I was concerned about powdery mildew, but quickly ruled that out. After hours of internet research, I determined that it was likely a bit of environmental stress (there had been a several day cold snap before the damage appeared) and perhaps a few nibbles from some critters. I lost 2 melon seedlings, but the two in the photo above are doing okay.

However, it’s been two weeks and now almost all of my bean plants have been munched away to nothingness:

bean1

This is one of about 2 or 3 bean plants that haven’t been completely annihilated:

bean2

This butternut squash plant looked awesome until about 3 days ago. All of that damage was done in about that amount of time:

butternut1

This is what the smaller, less robust butternut plants look like. I wish I had taken a photo of this plant yesterday because all of this damage was done last night:

butternut2

As you can see, something is causing significant damage. Healthy leaves are reduced to skeletons overnight. If I don’t figure out how to stop this quickly, I might not have a garden at all in a week. Continue reading…

I Need Your Help!

When I first started WhatTheCraft, I never dreamed it would be so successful. I just wanted a place to share and document what I learned in my crafty experiments.

Fast forward seven years later, and the site has grown enormously. So much so that I’ve recently had to increase the server space to keep up. And what that means is that the hosting costs of the site almost quadrupled overnight. If the current site advertising generated a penny per unique visitor to the site, it would be smooth sailing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Heck, it doesn’t even make HALF a penny per unique visitor.

I didn’t start this site to make money, so that’s okay. I have invested thousands and thousands of hours in WhatTheCraft because I love sharing and teaching. However, to keep the site running, I need to ask for your help:

If you love the site and find my tutorials helpful, please consider donating via Paypal. $2, $5, $10… any amount will help keep WhatTheCraft afloat!

donate


You can also donate in the form of buying a pattern from the shop or purchasing an advertising slot if you have a handmade shop or blog.

And lastly, thank you thank you THANK YOU to all of you who have donated, bought patterns, and purchased ads in the past. You have been an integral part of keeping WhatTheCraft alive and allowing it to become what it has!

 

Woodland Deer Papercut

I mentioned this little paper cut side project I’d been wanting to do over a year ago, and I’m happy to say I finally finished it!

I’d originally intended on doing a much larger version with a lot of different animals and flowers, but I scaled it back since it was really my first serious paper cutting endeavor. I have to constantly remind myself not to bite off more than I can chew!

Paper cutting is a slow and somewhat tedious process, but it’s the perfect thing to do while I’m watching a movie or tv. It’s kinda like assembling a diorama. Man, I loved when we got diorama assignments in school!

deer_woodland_papercut

Here it is a little closer:

deer_woodland_papercut_02

Continue reading…

Recipe: Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

This is a tasty soup that is similar to chili but lighter. Perfect for summer? Absolutely.

I call it tortilla soup, though I don’t usually put tortillas in it, because I don’t like soggy tortilla bits in my soup. The recipe started out as a legit tortilla soup, so I still call it that. And hey: if you like soggy tortilla bits in your soup, then have at it. It’s made for it.

Also, it says vegetarian in the title, but the only thing making it not vegan is that I garnish it with cheese and sour cream. Omit those or use vegan substitutes, and you’ve got yourself a tasty vegan soup, too!

For the meatatarians you can throw in a cup of shredded chicken, if you so choose.

The recipe as written is not very spicy- you can adjust the amount of jalapeno or other hot pepper to your taste.

tortilla soup

Ingredients

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 6 0z mushrooms, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 32 oz can Dei Fratelli seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I use BTB- mushroom or vegetable)
  • 1 dried guajillo pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups corn (I prefer fresh- 2 cobs should do, but canned works when it’s not in season)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • Optional Garnish: tortilla chips, cheese (I love Queso Chihuahua or mexican Quesadilla cheese- check the fancy cheese section of your supermarket), sour cream, diced avocado

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the bell pepper, jalapeno (I recommend wearing gloves when handling the jalapeno), and mushrooms.  Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the sweet potato, black beans, tomatoes, and broth and stir to combine.
  4. Add the guajillo and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Remove the guajillo and bay leaf. Add the corn, cilantro, and lime juice.
  6. Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, and tortilla chips. Oh, and cornbread. Gotta have cornbread.

How To Sew A Peekaboo Tulle Skirt – Sewing Tutorial

This is a step by step tutorial for a ruffled tulle skirt with an fun printed underlayer that “peeks” out. This skirt would be perfect for Prom or any other formal event.peekaboo tulle skirt tutorial

peekaboo tulle ruffle skirt tutorial

And while it will probably take you a few hours to make, the materials are very inexpensive. If you’re on a budget, this is the skirt for you!

Here was the cost of my skirt:

$3.50 – 3 yards of tulle
$10.00 – 1 yard underlayer fabric
$1.50 – 1 yard elastic

$15 – total

You could get a little crazier with some fancy tulle (something with sparkles or sequins) and a more expensive underlayer (satin, taffeta, etc.) and still be well under $50 for your total budget!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! There are a ton more tutorials on the way.

This tutorial was filmed using a Creative Labs Vado HD Digital Video Camera, a Canon Rebel (for still shots), and edited in Sony Vegas Movie Studio. Continue reading…

New Vintage Style Apron Pattern, plus a freebie!

I am happy to share the newest WhatTheCraft Pattern has arrived in the shop! It’s a vintage style apron with lots of retro flair- a flouncy twirly circle skirt, sweetheart bust, ruffled hem, and adjustable neck and waist ties!

And to compliment the apron, I’ve also released a free pattern for a collection of vintage style pockets! Of course they make a perfect addition to the apron, but you can also use them on bags, clothing, etc. And did I mention they’re free?

How to Gather Fabric With a Sewing Machine (Method 2) – Sewing Tutorial

This is Part 3 of my 7 Ways To Gather Fabric series! This time I’ll show you the “Cheater Method” of gathering fabric with a sewing machine.

how to gather fabric with a sewing machine 02

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! There are a ton more tutorials on the way.

This tutorial was filmed using a Creative Labs Vado HD Digital Video Camera, a Canon Rebel (for still shots), and edited in Sony Vegas Movie Studio.